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Breaches of Public Contracts Regulations 2006?

14th February 2011

Case Reference: The Halo Trust v The Secretary of State for International Development [2011] EWHC 87 (TCC) 27/1/11

The Facts

In 2010 the Department for International Development (DFID) undertook a public procurement exercise in relation to mine clearance and related work in Cambodia.  Initially Framework Agreements were signed between DFID, the Claimant (C) and Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and G4S whereby they could be invited to participate in demining work globally. C believed that it should have “won” the contract and that there were breaches by DFID of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended by the Public Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2009) (“the Regulations”).

The Issue

The court had to determine whether DFID should continue, at the suit of C, to be restrained by the operation of Regulation 47H of the Regulations from placing its contract with MAG for £3.5m’s worth of work in relation to the demining work.  It was common ground that in relation to applications under Regulation 47G(1) as here the Court should apply the principles and practice set out in American Cyanamid Co v Ethicon [1975] AC 396.

Held

Akenhead J

There was no serious issue to be tried in respect of the alleged breaches of the Regulations but, even were that threshold passed, the balance of convenience was such that DFID should no longer be restrained from entering into its proposed contract with MAG.

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Sally Wollaston
Sally Wollaston
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